This guide to Section 8 notice is for Landlords who wish to gain possession of a privately rented property let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
There are two main routes private Landlords can take to regain possession of their property under the Housing Act 1988; Section 21 notice or Section 8 notice.
What is a Section 8?
A “section 8 notice” is used to terminate an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement during the fixed period when a tenant has breached the agreement (e.g fallen into rent arrears).
A landlord cannot legally evict their tenant without obtaining an order for possession from a court first. Before applying to the court for this order, the landlord must serve a “Section 8 notice to quit” form on the tenant. The notice states that the landlord intends to seek possession of the property and states the ground(s) on which possession is sought.
Section 8 v’s Section 21
Section 21 gives a landlord an automatic right of possession without having to give and grounds (reason) once the fixed term has expired. We deal with Section 21 in our Guide for Landlords here.
Section 8 is served when a landlord has grounds for eviction (e.g. rent arrears), consequently the landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy during the fixed term. Section 8 allows a Landlord to seek possession using grounds 2, 8, 10 to 15 or 17 listed in Schedule 2 to the Act.
How to serve a Section 8 Notice
To start proceedings, you must first inform the tenant, using the section 8 notice, that you wish to seek possession. The Notice of Seeking Possession is issued under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 and must be served in the prescribed form – ‘section 8’. The notice could be included with a final rent reminder letter.
Any errors made when issuing the section 8 notice (which is extremely common) is likely to delay the landlord gaining possession. That’s why it is always advised to seek legal advice before issuing a section 8.
If there is more than one Tenant listed on the AST the notice must be served on all tenants. The notice can be served by post or in person. It is recommended that the notice be sent by recorded delivery for proof of deliver if using the postal system. If you are delivering it in person it is recommended that you have a witness present.
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